Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pictures of Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate (II) - Hong Kong’s Last Resettlement Area (1969 – May 2009)

Photo of Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate I & II before the construction of Kowloon Bay MTR Station and Telford Garden. Block 1,4,8 & 13 had Victoria Habour view back then. (九龍灣避風塘 in the 70's)

Lower Ngau Tak Kok Estate Block 4 which was demolished in 2003.

Lower Ngau Tak Kok Estate Block 7 (with pink wall) and Block 9. Block 7 was demolished in 2003 and Block 9 will face the same destiny in May 2009.

Map of Lower Ngau Tak Kok Estate – Blocks 1-7 belong to Zone I; Blocks 8-14 belong to Zone II. Buildings are often connected such as blocks 2 and 3/blocks 4 and 5/blocks 8-11.

An extra long corridor in Block 9.

Can you still find an old-style mailbox besides the door gate in modern society?

Each unit is about 200 - 300 sq ft which can live up to 6-7 people.

A huge corridor for children to play hide and seek!

Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate is a type 5 resettlement block with 16 levels which back then was considered an advanced public housing compared to type 1-3 resettlement blocks since it has its own bathroom and elevator.

However the elevator doesn’t stop at every floor. I haven’t been to the dwellings but based on my investigation, I think each block has two elevators with each elevator taking passengers from ground to just one particular floor. For example, one building has elevators stopping at floor 9 or 14.

I bet some people have never seen this washroom before … very old style squat toilet (舊式「一渠通」廁所).

I’ve seen this old style squat toilet at Wang Tau Hom Estate when I was four or five. So when I discovered the same kind of toilet in Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate, it was like discovering treasury since I haven’t seen it for more than 20 years and it will soon be extinct.

The first place you will see when heading to Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate from Kowloon Bay MTR Station is the market besides Blocks 8 & 9 - plenty of stores on the ground floor.

Restaurants at Block 9

Market at Block 9

Market at Block 9 – yummy Chinese donuts and fried pastries. I still remember they used to have a huge wok (鑊) to fry the donuts in front of the restaurant.

Now you can see how they dry their clothes.

Hing’s Café (興記茶餐廳) since 1970, located between my primary school 柏德學校 and Block 10

Both set breakfast and lunch have menu A, B and C to choose from.

Photo of Hing’s Café in the 70’s

Hing’s Café in the 21 century … the décor is not much different from 30 years ago.

It must be the gate to the back yard of my primary school … one time I had hot pot there during my childhood and it was an open area with no roof.

There are many unique stores in this area that can be hardly found at somewhere else – old style hair salon, Chinese style wedding gown裙褂and 紙紮舖 (hand-made paper products that sent to ancestors by fire), etc.

Back yard of my primary school

My primary school facing Ngau Tau Kok Road

Reflection of Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate (II) from the mirror of Amoy Plaza. It will soon be vanished and how many people will remember this self-sufficient community provided thousands of civilians with ideal dwellings and standard education during its golden age?

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